New Delhi, April 27: Exterl Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has assured the Kerala government that around 250 Keralites stranded in quake-hit Nepal would be brought back, a state minister said on Monday. Kerala Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph along with parliament members from the state - including Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P.J. Kurien - met Sushma Swaraj in the capital.
“We have been able to understand that there are around 250 Keralites who are still in Nepal, while 115 of them are now travelling by road to Gorakhpur (in Uttar Pradesh) and 47 have already reached Delhi,” Joseph told the media in Delhi. “The minister (Sushma Swaraj) has promised us that all efforts will be made to bring back our people from Nepal. The weather conditions, however, at times become bad and as a result aircraft are uble to land there,” he said. Joseph said his visit to Delhi reflects the “seriousness” of the Kerala government when it comes to crunch situations.
“The state government has made all arrangements for all Keralites who arrive from Nepal to come to the Kerala House here if they want. All those whose air tickets have expired for onward journey to Kerala will get revalidated tickets,” he said. Joseph told the media it should appreciate the good work the Kerala government was doing. “If a Kerala minister would not have come here, you would have asked, ‘Why is the government not sending a minister?’ Now that I have come, you ask, ‘Was there a need for a minister to travel from there to here?’.” “Remember it was only the Kerala government that followed up every activity when Indians were evacuated from Iraq, Libya and Yemen,” said a peeved Joseph. (ians)